239. Editorial Note

After more than six months of negotiations, the Treaty of Peace between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the State of Israel was signed by President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on the North Lawn of the White House on the afternoon of March 26, 1979. The final agreement package consisted of the treaty text itself—comprised of a preamble and nine articles—supplemented by annexes dealing with post-Treaty security arrangements, including the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from Sinai, as well as the normalization of political, economic, and cultural relations, including the exchange of ambassadors and the termination of economic boycotts. In addition, the text carried agreed minutes to Articles I, IV, V, and VI and the letter from Begin and Sadat to Carter on West Bank and Gaza negotiations (see Document 216), along with an explanatory note from Carter explicating the Israeli use of “Judea and Samaria” to denote the “West Bank.” (See Document 237) The exchange of ambassadors between Egypt and Israel was confirmed by three attached letters: one, from Sadat to Carter stating the exchange of ambassadors between Egypt and Israel would occur one month after Israel’s withdrawal to the agreed interim line; a second, from Carter to Begin, affirming this pledge; and a third, from Begin to Carter, acknowledging receipt of Carter’s letter. Finally, U.S. assurances regarding its role in ensuring compliance among the signatories to the Treaty provisions were laid out in identical letters sent by Carter to Begin and Sadat. The complete English language version of the Treaty, including all annexes, minutes, and letters, is printed in Public Papers: Carter, 1979, Book I, pages 495–517. In addition to this English version, the signatories also signed the Arabic and Hebrew-language versions of the Treaty during this ceremony.

In a separate ceremony held in the office of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance on March 26, Vance and Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Dayan signed two Memoranda of Agreement between the United States and Israel. The first, a Memorandum of Agreement between the United States and Israel, pledged U.S. commitment to uphold the Treaty and to support Israel in the event of Treaty violations. (See Document 232) The second memorandum, a supplement to the September 1, 1975, U.S.-Israeli Agreement on oil, extended U.S. commitments to ensure Israel’s oil supply from a period of five years to a period of fifteen years. This latter memorandum is printed as Document 241.